Radiological impact assessment for workers on treatment of radioactive spent resin from heavy water reactors
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- Radiological impact assessment for workers on treatment of radioactive spent resin from heavy water reactors
- Lee, UkJae; Choi, Woo Nyun; Kim, Hee Reyoung
- Issue Date
- Institute of Physics Publishing
- JOURNAL OF RADIOLOGICAL PROTECTION, v.39, no.2, pp.422 - 442
- In heavy water reactors, radionuclides are generated, then removed and treated by ion exchange resin. The disposal cost of spent resin is expected to increase because of the saturation of the existing storage capacity. In this study, a spent resin treatment process using microwaves is proposed, and a radiological safety assessment and cost evaluation of the spent resin treatment process are performed. A dose assessment was conducted by using the established exposure scenarios and the RESRAD-Build software. A sensitivity analysis was conducted to identify the main contributory radionuclide of the dose according to each exposure pathway because a spent resin consists of various radionuclides. The main exposure pathway was identified, and sensitivity analysis was applied to the working time and radioactivity concentrations of 14C, 60Co and 137Cs to confirm their effect on the dose. Finally, an optimal shielding system for a safe work environment was proposed. The disposal cost of the spent resin is reduced by lowering its radioactivity level via a treatment process using microwaves. The treatment process can reduce the radioactivity level through the desorption of 14C and can also recycle the 14C nuclide. These characteristics have great economic advantages from the viewpoint of the entire nuclear energy cycle. Thus, this study evaluates the radiological safety of the spent resin treatment process for actual application in a heavy water reactor power plant.
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